April 22, 2007

Gonzales Should Step Down

Administration Officials Say Gonzales Should Step Down

Several administration officials and the House Republican Conference chairman said Friday that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should step down, following the harsh response to his Senate testimony on last year's firing of eight U.S. attorneys.
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Gonzales for hours Thursday about the dismissals.
The attorney general has been roundly criticized for his handling of the shakeup and for the shifting explanations Justice Department officials have given for the changes.
Gonzales said more than 60 times that he "couldn't recall" certain incidents. His former chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, used that explanation 122 times during his testimony weeks ago.
Detractors say the Justice Department has not been straightforward about the reasons the attorneys were dismissed. The controversy has led to allegations of political interference with pending investigations.

April 20, 2007

Senators Aim Stiff Criticism At Gonzales

Unsparing lawmakers question the attorney general's credibility as he minimizes his role in prosecutors' firings.
Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales, told by President Bush to repair relations with Congress over his handling of the U.S. attorneys affair, instead suffered new and withering criticism from senators of both parties Thursday, including questions about his judgment, candor and fitness to serve.

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in what one lawmaker called a "reconfirmation hearing," Gonzales apologized for what he described as a flawed process in which a group of young political appointees at the Justice Department led a review that resulted in the firings of eight U.S. attorneys last year.

But his credibility took a fresh hit when he tried to downplay his involvement in the dismissals even as documents and testimony from top aides in recent weeks have shown that he played a central role. His inability to recall basic facts at the hearing — he answered "I don't recall" more than 50 times — also often baffled and bewildered lawmakers.

"Your characterization of your participation is significantly, if not totally, at variance with the facts," said Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), the ranking Republican on the committee.

Document is publicly viewable at:

April 12, 2007


Senate panel seeks missing White House records A U.S. congressional panel investigating the firing of eight federal prosecutors authorized subpoenas on Thursday for e-mails the White House has declared may be missing.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, challenged the White House assertion, saying, "It's not a question of e-mails being lost, it's e-mails they don't want to retrieve."

The White House said on Wednesday some of its staff, including President George W. Bush's senior political adviser, Karl Rove, and several of his deputies, wrote e-mail messages on official business on Republican Party accounts, and some may have wrongly been deleted.

It also said some of the e-mails may have dealt with the firing of eight of the nation's 93 U.S. attorneys last year, seven of them on December 7.

The administration insists that while the dismissals were poorly handled, they were justified and that prosecutors serve at the pleasure of a president. Critics charge that the dismissals appear to have been politically motivated.

Openly questioning if the White House wants the American people to learn "the truth about these matters," Leahy argued e-mails cannot be eliminated on a federal computer system. "These things stay forever," he said.

April 11, 2007

Senators Press Gonzales For More Documents

They think there is more to learn about the firings of eight federal prosecutors last year.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, indicating they think there is more to learn about the firings of eight federal prosecutors last year, asked Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales on Monday to turn over additional documents on the terminations and threatened to issue subpoenas if the materials were not forthcoming.

Specifically, the four senators want the internal rankings that the Justice Department made of all 93 U.S. attorneys over the years, as well as employment charts that Monica M. Goodling, a top aide to Gonzales, provided to Justice officials as they decided which prosecutors to fire.

The senators have also asked for the department's ratings of all 93 prosecutors in December, when seven of the eight were fired, including explanations why officials decided that certain prosecutors "might be on his or her way out" and why others were allowed to remain.

Three Democrats on the committee — Chairman Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, Dianne Feinstein of California and Charles E. Schumer of New York — and the panel's top Republican, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, asked that the documents be turned over by Wednesday so committee investigators could review them before Gonzales' scheduled testimony next Tuesday.

"We hope subpoenas will not be necessary to compel cooperation with the committee's investigation," the senators said in their letter to Gonzales.

The Justice Department had no immediate response.

April 09, 2007

Gingrich Joins Call For Gonzales To Step Down

The former speaker is the latest Republican to break ranks with the administration, which still stands behind the attorney general.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Sunday urged Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales to resign, saying the "self-created mess" over the firings of eight U.S. attorneys last year had hampered his ability to do his job.

"I cannot imagine how he is going to be effective for the rest of this administration," Gingrich said on "Fox News Sunday." "They're going to be involved in endless hearings, which is going to take up an immense amount of time and effort.

"I think the country, in fact, would be much better served to have a new team at the Justice Department, across the board," he said.

Gonzales Aide Quits Over US Attorneys Flap

A third US justice department official has resigned amid a mounting controversy over the firing of eight federal prosecutors, increasing pressure on Alberto Gonzales, the embattled US attorney-general.

Monica Goodling, the latest official to quit, was senior counsel to Mr. Gonzales and the main liaison between the department of justice and the White House, making her a key target of Democratic lawmakers seeking to prove the sackings were politically motivated.

The resignation came two weeks after Ms Goodling told Congress she would not testify about her role in the firings, asserting her constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination.

Her departure leaves Mr. Gonzales, a close ally and confidant of President George W. Bush, looking increasingly exposed, as he prepares to testify to Congress about the controversy in less than two weeks.

Read the full story:
Document is publicly viewable at: